University Profiles

Maxim Istanbul

Maxim Matusevich, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director, Russian and East European Studies Program

Department of History


Dr. Matusevich’s research focuses on the Cold War in Africa as well as the history of African-Russian encounters.

As the now defunct Soviet Union was teetering on the brink I decided to exchange the land of socialism for the land of opportunity. This highly successful transaction landed me in the state of Oklahoma, of which I had read in John Steinbeck's novels but never knew that it actually existed. It did. For the next 15 years I made a very slow but steady progress across the continent towards the beckoning lights of New York City. Since my arrival at Seton Hall University in 2005 I have been teaching courses in Global, African, and Cold War history. I also co-direct a study abroad program for Seton Hall students in the city of my birth - St. Petersburg, Russia. In my research and writing I focus on the history of cultural and political encounters between Africa and Russia/Soviet Union.

I am also the director of the Russian and East European Studies Program.


  • Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001
  • M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1995
  • B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1992.

Academic Distinctions

Awards and Grants

  • 2009-2010, Fulbright Grant (lecturing/research), Smolny College, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 2009, The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute “America Engages Russia, Circa 1880-ca. 1930: Studies in Cultural Interaction,” The New York Public Library, New York City, NY
  • 2008, 2008-09 IREX Research Grant, International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), Washington, DC
  • 2007-2008, Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellowship, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American  Research Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 
  • 2007, Kennan Institute Short-term Research Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC



Office Phone
(973) 761-9386


Office Location
Room 344
Fahy Hall


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